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Delay

We walk by faith. Faith overcomes the world. We live by faith. Faith is the work of God. By faith are we saved. This we know.

Now there is much ado made about love, joy, peace and works. But the thing that is striking is that with faith in the trial of the saints is mentioned none of those but patience. “Here is the patience and faith of the saints” (Rev. 13:10). Less is said about patience but this patience is the virtue of all virtues coupled with faith. The Lord teaches us to wait.

I once saw a man

Sitting in a chair on his veranda.

His feet were raised up and resting on a rail,

His eyes pegged on the road ahead.

He seemed to be waiting

With longing and hope.

He was alone and didn’t like it much,

And waited for someone to come.

Time passed on…and on…and on.

 

I looked again and saw

The prairie without life, as before,

The house, the veranda, and chair;

I saw the feet on the rail,

The figure was still there

But no flesh was left, only dust and bones

And cloth and cobwebs and hair.

 

Lord, why must we wait so long

For promises to be fulfilled?

Soon I begin to think and feel

That these promises were only imagined

Or that I have failed somehow.

I begin to think of that man

Who waited with hope in vain.

 

Will this be my lot? Am I that man?

My heart sick with hope deferred?

Will I turn to dust as that lonely soul,

Feeding on empty dreams?

But no, this is the patience and faith of the saints

Who are called to trust and to hope.

So we wait and accept the delay.

 

The man had no promise,

His hopes were in vain,

And he perished, not knowing the truth.

But we know the truth.

We know what we know because we have heard

And believe the One Who is true.

Lethbridge, Sept. 30, 1984

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